WG&S June 2015: I Want You To Renew Your Membership

from WG&S December 1999

What Does the Future Hold?

(Editor’s Note: As 1999 and the 20th Century were coming to a close, WG&S asked several industry leaders to look down the road and predict the future.  This is an abridged version of that article that appeared in the December 1999 edition of WG&S)


Dear Jon,

We have 80 full-time employees and offer a health benefit plan to only about 15 of our people (primarily management).  We understand that in 2016 we must offer a health plan to the rest of our employees, but how do we identify the individuals to whom we should offer or are required to offer coverage?

Looming Employer Mandate Inquiry in Newman



Many companies have been challenged with the regulations and requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Starting in January 2015, companies with 100 or more full-time employees were required to provide health care to these employees and offer the coverage to their dependents in order to comply with the law.

The health care package must fit these standards:

The number of efficacious fumigants currently available and the flexibility to use them in California is rapidly diminishing in key agricultural settings and impacting operations.  While California has the country’s most stringent fumigant use restrictions to protect human health and the environment, many regulators and activists fail to recognize how rigid and demanding the current registration and oversight process is for all crop protection products in this state and continue to communicate they are not a viable option.  Many efforts are aimed at eliminating them by 2020.

New amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) have been promulgated with the purpose of more closely aligning the CFRA with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and providing much needed clarification.  The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2015.

Key Changes

The amendments are voluminous, but here is a list of some of the key changes to the CFRA:

By Dennis Colley, president of the Fibre Box Association


Growers, shippers and packers have a long history of using corrugated containers to send their fresh produce to distributors and retailers.  Most have built an infrastructure to fit and facilitate packing in corrugated boxes.  Successful operations require an efficient system for managing the entire process and supply chain—growing, harvesting, packing, shipping and maintaining positive relations with retail customers.

(Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been paraphrased for brevity and clarity.)


Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson was first elected to the California Assembly in 1998 where she served for six years.  After a several year hiatus, she was elected to the State Senate in 2012.


From your start in Boston, how did you end up in the Golden State?

Tim Linden

Come to The Grand Del Mar for networking, education and some of the best minds in agriculture, economics and entertainment.  Mark your calendar now to join Western Growers in San Diego November 8 – 11, 2015 for our Annual Meeting.  On top of the world-class networking opportunities, educational workshops and industry updates you’ve come to expect from the Annual Meeting, you will have the chance to enjoy the following:

The Pink Flamingos: A Party in the Paddock

In the late 1860s, Mark Killian’s ancestors first started farming in Arizona.  Since that time, the family has continually been involved in agriculture, which made his selection as the new director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) a natural choice.

“The Killians and Ellsworths, which are the two families that are my ancestors, were among those sent to Arizona by Brigham Young to settle St. Johns, Arizona.  We’ve been ranching and farming here ever since.”

Tim Linden

As individual business owners and operators, you are following that American example by banding together as Western Growers members to ensure you do not get a raw deal from the powers-that-be: from one voice to many voices — e pluribus unum.  That is the motto of the United States of America and that’s a motto Western Growers has also followed for almost 90 years.  Didn’t we start as the Western Growers Protective Association to join forces against the railroads that were overcharging us and providing poor service?

Tom Nassif

Join Western Growers

Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live.